Traditional Native American smudging ceremonies have been used for centuries to purify a person, place, or an object, according to Wikipedia. The smoke from a burning herb carries prayers up to the Creator and the purpose of these ceremonies is to cleanse negativity or energy from you or your surroundings.
Smudging prayers for home are often chanted as part of a smudging and purifying ritual. Check out this blog to find smudging prayers for home, healing and protection: https://lotsofzen.com/blogs/news/smudging-prayers-for-home-healing-and-protection
The ritual of smudging can be done with herbs such as sweet grass, sage, cedar, or lavender. However, any dried herb can be used for this purpose. Also available are smudge sticks such as the white sage available at LotsofZen that are pre-made bundles of dried herbs already bound together to make them easy and ready to use.
To smudge with sage:
1. Take a handful of your chosen herb and hold it at the stem end between your hands while visualizing the person or place you want to cleanse.
2. Next, place some of the herb into a heat-proof bowl. I prefer using abalone shell as it is traditionally used for this purpose by many tribes, but you can use any type of heat-proof dish or bowl you have on hand. Ensure that the bowl has a handle, if not you can use a pot holder to hold onto it.
3. Light the herb with either a match or lighter and initially you will see just the smoke. After the herb has been burning for about 30 seconds then blow it out, but continue to visualize your intent of cleansing the person or place as the herb smolders and the smoke fills the space.
4. Starting at your forehead, fan the smoke towards your body and down to your feet and say a prayer for yourself or others that you are cleansing this person or place of negativity and bad energy. Fanning is used for this part rather than just having the smoke rise straight up because it will disperse over a larger area and negate a concentration of smoke in one spot.
5. Continue to wave the smudge stick over your body from head to toe, including any physical objects that may need cleansing such as a computer or phone or other item you use every day. Intend all negativity to be removed from these items as well if they are being cleansed.
6. Fan the smoke around the area where you are cleansing and continue this for as long as needed to clear any negativity or bad energy that may exist in that space.
7. Then, if desired, you can extinguish the stick by either burying it outside or placing it into a fireproof dish until it has burned out on its own.
8. After the smudge stick has been extinguished, collect any remaining ashes and place them in a pouch to be stored with other cleansing herbs such as lavender or sage for future use.
9. Leave your home or office open to allow any lingering smoke smell to dissipate before re-entering if possible, but you can also wait until later to do this or you can burn an air freshener such as vanilla to clear the smell, if desired.
10. Always be sure to use caution when smudging and never leave a burning herb unattended. Also realize that while the smoke itself is harmless, the burning stick could cause a fire if left unattended and should not be used near any open flames.
To conclude your smudging ceremony, wash your hands in salt water to remove any negative energy that may have transferred from the herbs or smoke onto them. You can also use sage to do this by running it over both palms while visualizing negativity being washed away with the smoke. Then bring your palms together in a prayer position to thank the Creator for assisting you in this way.